Saturday, April 24, 2010

Selected Upcoming Events: Bach Cantata Choir's Season Finale and Opera Theater Oregon/Filmusik's 'Hercules vs. Vampires.'

Here are a couple of upcoming that I will be attending and wholeheartedly recommend, for various reasons: I sing baritone in the BCC (although I am not singing this concert) and so am always a fan. The dynamic duo of Opera Theater Oregon and Filmusik are both key components of Portland's homegrown, scrappy alternative art music scene that never ceases to amaze me with its brilliant, original projects.

1. Tomorrow, Sunday April 25th is the season finale of the Bach Cantata Choir, and what a grand finale it will be. The concert was featured by host Andrea Murray on Northwest Previews last Thursday on Portland's All Classical 89.9. The very talented BCC Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Ralph Nelson, will be performing J.S. Bach's Violin Concerto in E Major with Mary Rowell as soloist. Among the many hats Mary wears are those of Concertmaster of the BCC Chamber Orchestra and violinist with the esteemed Portland Baroque Orchestra.

In addition, the BCC will sing W.F. Bach's cantata Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet. Wilhelm Friedemann was Sebastian's eldest son, a man with a tragic life and the one whom many scholars believe was the finest composer amongst the Bach sons, despite Joh. Christian and especially Carl Philip Emanuel being the more famous. The BCC is proud to present their first performance of an ancient work by a Jewish composer, Salamone Rossi's (1570-1630) Hallelyah. The choir will also sing J.S. Bach's Motet #5 Komm, Jesu Komm, one of only eight Bach motets still surviving, a set known for its complexity, beauty and unicity even among Bach's works.

The performance is at 2 pm at the Rose City Park Presbyterian Church at NE 44th and Sandy. There is no charge for the performance, but free will donations are gratefully accepted.

2. Following is information from Opera Theater Oregon regarding their next project: Hercules vs. Vampires.

WHAT: Opera Theater Oregon and Filmusik present “Hercules vs. Vampires,” a 1960s cult classic brought back to the big screen with all the dialogue turned into opera by composer Patrick Morganelli and performed live by nine glorious voices and a 14-piece chamber orchestra.

WHEN/WHERE: May 14, 18, 20 and 21 at 7:30pm/May 16, 2:00pm (matinee). ALL SHOWS ALL AGES (run time 90 minutes). Hollywood Theater, 4122 Northeast Sandy Boulevard, Portland, OR.

WHO: Produced by Opera Theater Oregon and Filmusik; new commissioned opera and adaptation of libretto by composer Patrick Morganelli; original 1961 film directed by Mario Bava (Black Sunday, Fashion House of Death); musical direction by OTO Musical Director Erica Melton; produced and directed by OTO Artistic Director Katie Taylor; technical direction by Filmusik Artistic Director Galen Huckins.

Starring a cast of rising operatic talent, including baritone Michael Miersma (Hercules), soprano Camelia Nine (Dianara), tenor David Simmons (Theseus), mezzo soprano Claire Craig Sheets (Persephone), and baritone Bobby Ray (Lyco). Made possible by a grant from REGIONAL ARTS AND CULTURE COUNCIL and WORK FOR ART.

TICKETS: $15 (general admission). Call PDXtix at 503-205-0715, or go online to Group rates available. Contact Katie at Opera Theater Oregon for details: 503-234-4515,

WHY: Because it is awesome to watch Mr. Universe 1958 crush boulders on the big screen while appearing to sing beautiful music.

For complete information and a detailed press release, visit my blog MusicalOozings

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